Fr. Lombardi Issues Reflection on Crisis

04/09/2010 Comments (4)

The Holy See press office director, Father Federico Lombardi, today issued this helpful and thoughtful reflection on the sexual abuse crisis, reproduced in full below.

Following Holy Week, Holding Our Course

The debate concerning sexual abuse, and not only that committed by the clergy, continues with news items and comments of various kinds. How can we sail through these stormy waters while maintaining a secure course and responding to the evangelical motto ‘Duc in altum - Put out into the deep’?

In the first place, by continuing to seek truth, and peace for the victims. One of the most striking things is that today so many inner wounds are coming to light, wounds that also date to...READ MORE

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Senator Pera Again Defends the Church

04/08/2010 Comments (6)

Senator Marcello Pera was President of the Italian Senate from 2001-2006. As well as writing 'Without Roots' in 2004, he has written 'Why We Must Call Ourselves Christians', a 2008 book with a preface by Pope Benedict.

Marcello Pera, the Italian philosopher and politician, has again spoken out in defense of the Church and the Holy Father in response to the excessive attacks over the sexual abuse crisis.

Last month, he wrote an open letter to the editor of Corriere della Sera, pointing out that these attacks are more to do with a “war” between secularism and Christianity than they are about pedophilia.

He did so again today, in an article for the Italian daily Il Tempo. He writes that “judicial ecclesiastical and civil reparation regarding pedophilia cases and priests is not the true interest” of those who are viciously attacking the Church. “If it really were,” he says, “then similar...READ MORE

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Looking at the U.N.'s Record

04/07/2010 Comments (4)

The strong condemnations of clerical sexual abuse, as well as those times when the Church has mishandled these terrible cases, is of course understandable and fair. As many have rightly pointed out, one case of clerical abuse is one too many.

But many have also noted that much criticism directed at the Church as a whole over this issue has been unjust and disproportionate, not least the spurious accusations directed against Pope Benedict XVI which have been very ably unpacked by my colleague Jimmy Akin.

Child sexual abuse is a scourge for society at large, not just for the Church. Currently making headlines in Germany, for example – where condemnations of the Church’s record have been...READ MORE

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Urbi et Orbi and Easter Vigil in Full

04/04/2010 Comment


Cantemus Domino: gloriose enim magnificatus est.
“Let us sing to the Lord, glorious his triumph!” (Liturgy of the Hours, Easter, Office of Readings, Antiphon 1).

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I bring you the Easter proclamation in these words of the Liturgy, which echo the ancient hymn of praise sung by the Israelites after crossing the Red Sea. It is recounted in the Book of Exodus (cf 15:19-21) that when they had crossed the sea on dry land, and saw the Egyptians submerged by the waters, Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, and the other women sang and danced to this song of joy: “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed...READ MORE

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What Fr. Cantalamessa Really Said

04/02/2010 Comments (29)

The comments of the Pope’s preacher, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, in which he quoted a Jewish friend at this evening’s Good Friday homily in St. Peter’s is causing yet further media controversy for the Church.

But as always, it helps to read such comments in context. Thanks to Robert Moynihan of Inside the Vatican for obtaining the whole homily. The relevant remarks are in bold at the end. 


Homily on Good Friday 2010 in Saint Peter’s Basilica
by Father Raniero Cantalamessa, ofmcap

“We have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God”: thus begins the passage from the Letter to the Hebrews that we heard in the second...READ MORE

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Coverage of Easter Triduum at the Vatican

04/01/2010 Comment

Vatican's Holy Week web page

The Easter Triduum at the Vatican is perhaps easier to follow this year than ever before.

The Vatican website pope2you is offering live video and audio streaming of all the events, with each of the ceremonies being broadcast in English as well as Italian, Spanish, French and German.

The broadcasts are a team effort between the Vatican’s Television Center, Vatican Radio and the Holy See’s Internet Service.

And in case you missed them, all the homilies and meditations will be available on the Vatican’s website dedicated to Holy Week. Some are already online, such as Cardinal Camillo Ruini’s Via Crucis meditations. The Pope’s Urbi et Orbi address will also be available there. For...READ MORE

Filed under ewtn, holy week, internet, pope benedict xvi

Navarro-Valls on the Abuse Crisis

04/01/2010 Comments (19)

Dr. Joaquin Navarro-Valls

The Holy See press office director under John Paul II, Dr. Joaquin Navarro-Valls, has today criticized the media for “a raging phobia” against the Church over pedophilia while ignoring the problem in the rest of society which he says is widespread.

Writing in the Italian daily La Repubblica, the former medical doctor did not lessen the “grave criminal phenomenon” in the Church, but quoted alarming figures of abuse against children in society in general, adding that to focus only on the Church was “very misleading.”

The current papal spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said over the weekend that the recent media attacks “have without doubt caused damage” to the Church but...READ MORE

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New Medjugorje Diocese?

03/25/2010 Comments (4)

A woman touches a cross at a venerated site in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in June last year. Widespread devotion and controversy have surrounded the reported apparitions of Mary in Medjugorje since they were first made known in 1981. An internation al commission has been appointed by the Vatican to study the alleged apparitions. (CNS/Damir Sagolj, Reuters) (March 17, 2010)

The new Vatican commission being set up to investigate the reported apparitions at Medjugorje is allegedly considering the creation of a new diocese to include the Bosnian town.

According to Andrea Tornielli, Vatican correspondent for the Italian daily Il Giornale, the proposal for a new diocese, combining the territories of three existing sees, was advanced last year. He said Bishop Ratko Peric, who heads the existing Mostar diocese where Mejugorje is located, strongly opposed the idea.

Yesterday, I asked the Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, about the report. He was unaware of the speculation but stressed that the commission was only just getting started and so it was...READ MORE

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About Edward Pentin

Edward Pentin
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Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Follow on Twitter @edwardpentin